A chance not to miss out on!

A chance not to miss out on!

The Home Office has announced some reforms to the Sole Representative or Overseas Representative visa to The United Kingdom. NOW may be the right time to apply for those who are thinking of expanding their business in the UK.

 

These reforms are designed to give the Home Office more powers to refuse applications. The good news, however is that with initial teething issues, these new reforms may not be used to a great extent over the next month or so!

 

We therefore urge you to take this opportunity to apply! Call us now to find out more.

What is this visa all about?

The “Sole Representative” visa or the “Overseas Representative” visa offers exciting opportunities for foreign companies to set up a branch or a wholly-owned subsidiary of the overseas business in the UK. The foreign company can establish this by delegating a senior representative to the UK branch office.

 

To be eligible for this visa the applicant must:

  • be recruited and employed outside the UK by a company whose headquarters and principal place of business are outside the UK
  • have extensive related industry experience and knowledge
  • hold a senior position within the company (but not be a major shareholder) and have full authority to make decisions on its behalf
  • intend to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK
  • Hold sufficient English language skills

The visa is granted for an initial 3 years and can be extended and lead to long term settlement.

 

What will the changes be?

  • An amendment is being made to prevent overseas businesses from sending over representatives if there is no genuine intention to set up a branch or subsidiary in the UK. The branch or subsidiary must be established in the UK and not overseas
  • A further amendment is being made to highlight that the representative must be a senior employee with experience, skill and knowledge to represent the overseas business
  • An additional amendment is being made to prevent majority owners from entering as the dependent spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner of a representative of their own business. This is intended to prevent owners from relocating their businesses to the UK under this route
  • Additional checks are being brought in to ensure that the overseas business is active, trading and is outside of the UK
  • Clarifications are being brought in to highlight that the overseas representative cannot engage in his/her own separate business or another which does not represent the overseas business
  • Further clarifications maintain that the senior employee cannot be a majority owner of the overseas business and this is not limited to businesses that issue shares

­